A couple hoping to be crowned the owners of the world’s biggest spud had their hopes dashed when an official analysis of the specimen revealed that it is in fact a gourd.
The ‘potato’ was dug up by Colin and Donna Craig-Brown, from New Zealand’s Waikato region, last August.
They suspected the tuber they named ‘Dug’ to be the world’s biggest spud and were waiting to hear back from Guinness World Records to see if their potato was actually the world’s heaviest after sending a sample to the UK for DNA testing.
But according to an email from Guinness World Records received by the couple on Sunday, the Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture/SASA found the DNA sample taken showed the specimen was not actually a potato.
Instead the 7.9kg tuber is a type of gourd, and for that reason, the Craig-Brown’s application for the World Record was disqualified, the Mirror reports.
Speaking to Stuff on Monday, Colin said he was “disappointed”.
“It’s been a real roller-coaster of potato-rama,” he said.
“We hopped on the roller-coaster eyes wide open and enjoyed the ride and this was the last real twist.”
Colin said he was “trying to rationalise” how the confusion had happened.
The only logical explanation he could think of, he said, was if the seedling he purchased was crossbred with a gourd and a cucumber.
Speaking to Stuff last year shortly after the discovery of the monstrous tuber, Colin said at the time the “potato” was their “happy little mistake of nature”.
“It’s a hideous looking creature,” Colin had said.
“It’s the sort of thing that only a mother could love.”
The couple think the ‘potato’ is self-sown and could have been growing for a couple of years or more.
Whilst they awaited confirmation to see if Doug will take his place in the annals of history, they have built a small cart to tow the veg around town and show it off.
Speaking now of the confusion, Colin said it was a mystery to him why it grew so big, and why it tasted and looked like a potato.
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“If it quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and has feathers on it, then it must be a duck.
“But nah – this one turned out to be a turkey.”
Colin said his hopes hadn’t been crushed completely. He was now inspired to “really get stuck in” growing his potatoes.
“I’m really gonna give it my all and have a go at growing the biggest potato in the world,” he said.
The current heaviest potato was found in Britain in 2011 and weighed only just under 5kg, far less than Dug.